Things I have learned (often the hard way) and things I want you to know:
• Be kind to yourself. Not indulge yourself, but love yourself the way you deserve to be loved. Don’t be hard on yourself if you make a mistake, just learn from it. Find what you love as your life’s work. You deserve to be happy. Work hard at what you love, but take time to keep balance in your life.
• Be kind to others. Treat them the way you would like to be treated. Smile, hold a door, give someone a ride, let someone in in traffic, overlook it when someone is acting like a jerk. Don’t hold people to impossible standards that they can’t meet, appreciate their humanness. Give back. That kindness will come back to you, over and over. That is how you will be a good example for your own children.
• Don’t let little things bother you. It’s not worth the energy. And if it is a big thing, take a deep breath, walk away, cool off and go back to deal with it when you feel more calm. Things always work out one way or another. Don’t waste your time being angry unless it is over injustice or moral wrong. Anger takes a terrible toll on your soul.
• Be grateful for what you have. Don’t look at other people and think they maybe have it better than you. I guarantee they don’t. There is an old saying: “If you put your troubles in a pile with ten other people, you would take yours back.” You never know what kind of burden someone is carrying. Another good reason to be kind.
• Stay close to your siblings. Work at it. Time goes by so fast. You are the only family you have, cherish that. Enjoy each other. Ignore petty things. Remember what good people you are.
• Tell your children about your family, all the funny and fun stories you can remember. Focus on the good, but don’t ignore the bad. Learn from the bad that people are human and need to be forgiven.
• Have faith in a spiritual power. In hard times, that is where you will find strength and hope.
• Laugh. Look at the funny side of things. Keep a sense of humor.
• Remember that life is very short and you only get one go at it. So make sure if you are investing yourself and your emotions in something that it is worth your while.
• Know that you were always loved, from the minute you were known, before you were even born. You may not have gotten the perfection you deserved, but that overwhelming love was always there. It can give you solace when you need it most, so hold onto it. You will never be alone, that spirit of care and affection is always with you. Nothing can end it, not even death.
In a nutshell:
Love. Laugh. Whine (a little). Nourish yourself. Do these things, you will be happy and you will make the world a better place.
Lots of love,
|My children, 1989 Fireman's Park, Ocean Grove, NJ|
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